I have had a packet of pistachios in the pantry for about 3 months. Every time Simon tried to go near them for a snack, I would angrily fend him off them citing that I intended to put them in an imminent cake. At each request to eat them the cake changed as I could never quite choose what to make with them. I am not sure if he noticed this or not, but I am guessing that he did and he chose to keep his silence. The cake excuse seemed to work to my advantage in this instance, this is not always the case!
Well I finally got round to using them with Ophelia when the boys were busy enjoying Holiday Bible Club. Now Ophelia loves pretty much all fruit. I am always having to share whatever fruit I have just tucked into with my daughter. Not that I am complaining, I am absolutely delighted that she loves fruit. I do, however, sort of begrudge having to share every single cherry with her: half for mummy, half for Phe. With this love of fruit in mind, I decided to combine the pistachio with dried apricot in a traybake.
This traybake doesn’t rise a great deal; it has a low flour content. Despite that, it is beautifully moist and the coarsely ground pistachios and desiccated coconut give an extra nutty depth to the flavour. The chocolate was added as chocolate goes with pretty much anything right?!
We had a lot of fun preparing the ingredients. I did, however, forget how much mischief a 2 year old can get up to when I don’t have her older brothers entertaining her. We had sugar and coconut all over not only the surface, but her too her. Oh and there was also her half-eaten apple which she refused to relinquish. She was so enthusiastic with every step of this recipe. She did, however, need help finishing off some of the steps and doing the more challenging bits.The 5 and 4 year old would have managed it with minimal help.
- 150g dried apricots
- 115g golden caster sugar
- 115g butter
- 65g desiccated coconut
- 50g pistachios
- 30g self raising flour
- 100g dark chocolate chips
- 50g white chocolate
- Preheat the oven to 160°c fan and grease and line a brownie tin or other shallow baking tin.
- Slice the dried apricots with a table knife or chop them with scissors (we used a table knife, but upon reflection, the scissors would have been easier).
- Put the pistachios in a food processor and blitz until coarsely ground. It is nice to have some larger pieces in the mixture.
- Cream the butter and golden caster sugar together until light and fluffy (you can use an electric hand mixer for this, but we used wooden spoons).
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.
- Fold in the flour, desiccated coconut, coarsely ground pistachios and the dried apricots.
- Add the chocolate chips and mix.
- Put the mixture in the brownie tin and then gently flatten with the back of a wooden spoon or a spatula.
- Cook for 20-25 minutes until golden and a skewer (not inserted into a chocolate chip!) comes out clean.
- Allow to cool in the tin for 5-10 minutes and then remove from the tin and place on a cooling rack. This is quite a fragile cake so this will need to be done carefully.
- Once fully cooled, melt the white chocolate (we did this in the microwave for 10 seconds at a time, mixing after each 10 seconds). Drizzle over the cooled cake and allow to set before cutting into 16 squares.